By Joey DeFeo (@jdefeo91), Frank Scandurro (@Frank_Scandurro), and Brian Mackowick (@BMaaaaac)
Week 9 Results
QB Starts: Ryan FitzMagic (QB6); Dak Prescott (QB18)
RB Starts: Latavius Murray (RB20); Adrian Peterson (RB41)
WR Starts: Josh Gordon (WR5); Jarvis Landry (WR20)
TE Starts: O.J. Howard (TE3); Greg Olsen (TE5)
QB Sits: Mitch Trubisky (QB21); Matthew Stafford (QB24)
RB Sits: Tevin Coleman/Ito Smith (RB4/RB18); Chris Thompson (DNP)
WR Sits: Sammy Watkins (WR28); Geronimo Allison (DNP)
TE Sits: Trey Burton (TE12)
Of our eight start recommendations, we returned a QB1, a RB2, a WR1 and WR2, and two top-5 TEs. Fitzpatrick started off slow but finished strong and ended up as the QB6 on the week. Running back was a tough position for us with Latavius finishing at RB20, but Adrian Peterson busted and put up a meager 6.3 fantasy points in PPR. Josh Gordon seems to be getting more productive each week, and that late 55-yard TD helped vault him all the way up to WR5!
On the sit side, we nailed our QB calls with Trubisky and Stafford both finishing outside the top-20 at the position. Tevin Coleman had a great week for Atlanta and his fantasy owners as our Sit call ended up as the RB4 on the week. Trey Burton finished as a back-end TE1 on the week in a game that saw just 135 passing yards and one TD from Trubisky (which of course went to Burton).
Let’s get into our week 10 Starts and Sits!
Quarterbacks – by Joey DeFeo
Andy Dalton – Outside of a couple down games, Dalton has been pretty good this season. He is currently sitting as the QB16 overall which isn’t terrible. This leaves him as a good backup option when other quarterbacks are on a bye or have tough matchups. This week, the Bengals welcome arguably the best all-around team in the league. Fresh off a win against the last undefeated team in the league, the Saints look to be steamrolling toward the top seed in the NFC. To try and put up a fight, the Bengals will have to exploit the secondary as the Saints rush defense held MVP candidate Todd Gurley to 68 yards rushing last week. With the run game likely being held in the check, Dalton will have to utilize the air attack and try to keep up with the high scoring Saints offense.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – FitzMagic has been a hot topic on start/sits throughout the year. He started the season on fire looking like he was going to get himself another big pay day and starting job before being benched for an unimpressive Jameis Winston. Things got worse for the Bucs after benching Fitzpatrick and it wasn’t long before he was unleashed upon the league as the starter again. He has been fun to watch this year with an almost Brett Favre-type angst about him where he is going to air it out regardless of the results. To this point it has resulted in very good fantasy numbers as he sits as the QB14 overall, which would be higher if he hadn’t sat out two games. Fitzpatrick gets a soft Redskins defense this week that just gave up 350 yards and four touchdowns to Matt Ryan at home. He will have his hiccups, but his air-it-out mentality keeps him in the conversation as an every-week starter.
Jared Goff – This one pains me to say the least. Listing the QB2 overall as a sit is less than ideal, but he is facing one of the best defenses against the pass in the league. Even without the legion of boom the Seahawks continue to field one of the premier pass defenses in the league. In their earlier matchup this season Goff was picked off twice and held him to one touchdown. Although the Rams offense has been high-powered this season the Seahawks can do a good job of at least slowing them down. L.A. will likely lean on Todd Gurley in this game and only use Goff when they absolutely must. Again, Goff is a tough sit, but if you have a good streaming option available, you should consider sitting him this week in a tough matchup.
Mitchell Trubisky – I will likely catch some flak for listing Trubisky as a sit from some of my colleagues, but I will explain why I think you may want to keep him on the bench this week. The Lions may look like a soft matchup based on how ugly they have looked some weeks, but their pass defense hasn’t been the culprit. Last week the Lions got embarrassed by the Vikings, allowing ten sacks and just looking helpless in all other aspects. The 24-9 score in a divisional-win for the Vikings did not reflect the mediocre passing performance by Kirk Cousins who threw for just 164 yards and one touchdown. He also threw one interception and finished the day under double-digit fantasy points. Sitting Mitchell Trubisky isn’t necessarily a reflection of him likely doing a poor job against the Lions, but is also a reflection of how bad the Lions are. I foresee the Bears defense and the run game doing most of the damage leaving Trubisky with average numbers for your fantasy team.
Running Backs – by Frank Scandurro
Duke Johnson – Duke and his teammates welcome the Falcons to town this week. Atlanta’s run defense has held up well in recent weeks, giving up just 55 combined yards to Adrian Peterson and Saquon Barkley over their last two games. However, they have proven vulnerable to the pass-catching running back. Baker has completed 26 of 30 passes for 266 yards when throwing to Duke Johnson, including a 9/9 for 78 yards and two touchdowns last week. With the high-powered Falcons offense likely tilting the game-script in their favor, I believe the game-flow will lean more heavily on the passing game and Duke Johnson for the Browns this week.
Aaron Jones – Prior to week 9, Aaron Jones owners around the world rejoiced as the Pack sent Ty Montgomery packing, opening up further opportunity for Jones. This is Jones’ job to lose, in my opinion. He did have a fumble Sunday night against the Patriots, but was right back in the game afterwards. The Dolphins come to town this week and I can see this becoming a breakout game for Aaron Jones and expect him to see a heavy workload.
Joe Mixon – Mixon is coming off his bye to face the Saints defense this week. Most people see the Saints on the schedule and assume it’s going to be a great fantasy day for their players. Not so much this season for opposing running backs. I expect Gio Bernard to be coming back this week which will take away some of the passing work for Mixon as well. The Saints run defense is the best in the league statistically and just held Todd Gurley to 68 yards on the ground as @jdefeo91 mentioned. Look for this to be a game where the Bengals are playing from behind and are using Bernard more while in passing mode. Also, without A.J. Green and potentially John Ross the Saints may decide to stack the box and challenge Andy Dalton to keep up with Brees and their offense.
David Johnson – A top-4 pick in the offseason in most fantasy drafts, DJ has been a relative disappointment for his owners this season as he sits at just RB15. However, I don’t think it’s all necessarily his fault as Josh Rosen and the passing game haven’t done much to help. This week DJ gets a Chiefs team who can give up yards on the ground. On the other hand, the Chiefs can score at will and I don’t see them slowing down this week. As a result, I see Arizona becoming one dimensional very early in this contest. As hard as it may be to bench someone chosen in the top-4 of fantasy drafts, higher upside options may be the better play this week.
Wide Receivers – by Brian Mackowick
Tyler Boyd – Tyler Boyd has been on FIRE in his third NFL season. Boyd is currently on pace for 132 targets, 98 receptions, 1,240 yards and 10 touchdowns. That stat line would’ve placed Boyd at WR3 last year with 282 PPR fantasy points! So far this season, Tyler Boyd has returned five top-18 finishes and three top-10 finishes. This week, with no A.J. Green, and at home facing a Saints defense that has given up the most PPR fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, Boyd is an absolute must start!
Larry Fitzgerald – In Byron Leftwich’s first game as the new offensive coordinator for the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald promptly provided faithful fantasy owners with by far his best game of the year. His 8/102/1 stat line was good for WR6 in week 8, and we could see a similar performance this week on the road against the Chiefs. The Chiefs defense has held up well to wide receivers this season. However, if Fitzgerald continues to see double-digit target volume, we could see him return WR2/Flex value going forward.
Golden Tate – I like Golden Tate a lot, and I think his addition to the Eagles is an upgrade for Wentz’s value going forward. For Tate, however, I’m uncertain. Tate was arguably the focal point of the Lions’ offense, but in Philly, Tate will be vying for target share with Alshon Jeffrey and Zach Ertz. While I think Tate can still be productive in this offense, I’m hesitant to plug him into my lineup this week. This is especially true when considering his match-up this week with a Dallas team that has held wide receivers to the fewest fantasy points thus far this season.
Devin Funchess – Funchess has been a solid, though underwhelming asset thus far this year. Currently ranked as WR33 in PPR leagues, we’ve seen a drop off in production over the last two weeks with Funchess posting less than 8.5 fantasy points in each game. The Panthers offense has been churning lately, posting a combined 78 points in their last two games against the Ravens and Buccaneers. However, this week, the Panthers travel to face the Steelers in prime-time on Thursday night. The Steelers have allowed no more than 21 points in any of their last four games, and I’m expecting that trend to continue against Cam Newton and company.
Tight Ends – by Frank Scandurro
Austin Hooper – Hooper is facing the Browns this week, who just got burned by Travis Kelce and the Chiefs to the tune of 7/99/2. Linebacker Joe Schobert’s potential returns would be a boost for the Browns’ defense, but I still see this as a prime opportunity for Hooper to reward his fantasy owners.
Evan Engram – Engram is finally back; the Giants are coming off their bye which gave Engram one more week to heal up his bum knee. The Giants have not been good defensively so far this year and can’t pass protect for longer than two seconds it seems. That means Eli has been forced to dump it off often and early. Other than Barkley, I think Engram benefits from this most as OBJ and Shepard stretch the field on the deeper routes. I think this week will be a big week for Barkley and Engram.
Jared Cook – Ohhh the Raidasss. This team is uglier than that girl you knew in 7th grade who had thick glasses, braces, a retainer and horrible acne. THE UGLY DUCKLING. Perhaps, after their five 1st rounders join the team and they move to Vegas they will become the BEAUTIFUL SWAN. Then again, maybe Jon Gruden is overpaid and still trying to coach like its 2002. Either way, this week Cook faces the Chargers defense and I have a feeling the Chargers will key in on Derek Carr’s favorite target and lock him down. Steer clear of Cook this week for a higher upside option.
O.J. Howard – OJ put up a 4/53/2 stat line last week. If you started him you were dancing the night away. But this week he gets the Redskins who have two of the league’s top-rated safeties according to Pro Football Focus (@PFF). I think this is a Djax/Evans week as FitzMagic will have to throw away from D.J. Swearinger and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix who may be paying close attention to Howard. I understand trying to ride the hot hand, but the Bucs have a lot of talent on offense and Fitz will spread it around each and every week.
Be sure to check for our week 11 Start/Sit column to see the week 10 results! Follow us on Twitter @jdefeo91, @Frank_Scandurro and @BMaaaaac, follow our podcast @F3Pod, and look out for more articles in the future on www.TheFFFranchise.com!